Another thing that people have trouble with is that when they make a mistake, they consider it a complete failure. Like, they'll have a slice of cake for dessert that they weren't expecting. Of course, that jumps your daily calories, which sometimes puts you over what you should be eating for the day. And so, since they made a mistake, they might as well give up since they've totally ruined their diet!
I call bullshit on this idea. What people forget is that EVERYONE makes mistakes. No exceptions. You WILL make mistakes. Days you go over by accident, celebrations and holidays, sick days, etc. EVERYONE has off days. But think about it, if we humans gave up every time we made a mistake, we wouldn't be here now! Part of any process in growing in your life includes making mistakes. Instead of assuming it means you're a failure, start looking at it as a learning process. Ok, so you have a day where you went way over on your calories. Take a look at why you went over, and learn what adjustments to make. That way, next time you're in the same situation, you'll know what you need to do. If you're over-eating when eating out with friends, find out better choices at the restaurant BEFORE you get there. That way, you'll know what you want and you don't have to worry about it. Got a birthday party to go to? Limit yourself to a single slice of cake, not several slices and cookies. I mean, maybe it's the Southerner in me, but when my family and friends celebrate something, food is involved. Usually a lot of it! So am I going to skip a birthday or holiday celebration because I'm trying to lose weight? HELL no! I'm going to that party and I'm having a reasonable amount of cake and goodies to celebrate with. I won't eat everything in site, and I'll be careful about how much I'm getting, but I'm sure as hell NOT going to sit in the corner and watch everyone else eat! If I go over that day, I simply log it and be extra careful for the next few days. I enjoyed myself, I got to eat tasty foods, and have fun with friends or family. That's much more important than worrying about calories for a day!
But if you don't worry about calories, you'll just gain the weight back!!
Only if you don't worry about calories for several WEEKS. One day isn't enough to undo all your hard work. Estimates vary, but general consensus is that you have to eat about 3500 extra calories to gain a pound. If you're eating an EXTRA 3500 calories in a day over what your body needs to survive, then you've got bigger problems! I've had celebrations where I've been almost 1000 calories over (because chocolate brownie with ice cream, hello!), and I lost weight just fine. Since it was only occasionally, it evens out in the end.
Remember, going back to previous points, this entire process is just that: a process. You're trying to relearn eating habits, and do you really want to give up birthday cake for the rest of your life? I'm assuming the answer is NO, so work on learning how to incorporate a reasonable portion into what you eat. After all, you're not planning on eating birthday cake every day, yeah? So don't worry about fitting it in from time to time. Treat it as what it is: a treat to celebrate something with. Celebration foods can be adjusted for, espically if you plan it out before you get there. And for the times you go over by accident, remember, mistakes happen. One bad meal or one bad day isn't going to sabotage your progress or make you a failure unless you let it. When an over day happens, log it, learn from it, and move on. Log what you ate so that you have that record. Learn why you went over and come up with ways not to do it again. Move on, because what's past is past, and you don't have to let it make you feel like a failure. This is hard lesson to learn for most people, including myself. Once I did actually believe it, it made things a LOT easier!